Saturday, 8 October 2016

Hygge: 10 Ways to Get Cosy

While I love the colours that autumn brings and I appreciate that the heat of summer is finally on its way out, this is also a season that I dread a little. Why? To quote a popular TV show: Winter is coming.

I neither cope well with heat nor with cold and winter is the worst possible season for me. But the colder seasons also have their advantages that help me get through them. In one word: hygge.
Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that is a feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day things more meaningful, beautiful or special. (Source)
There is something to look forward to and to distract us from how miserable winter can be! 

Do you feel the same? If you do and could do with a few tips for how to get through the cold days, here are some things you can do to bring a bit of hygge into your life.

1. Go on a mission to find your new favourite tea

I love tisanes and the occasional black tea. My favourites are green teas with all manner of flavouring or herbal teas. As soon as the temperatures start to go down, I like to check out tea shops and specialist websites to find what may become my new favourite tea. The search is exciting, you may even come across something you may not have known even existed (olive leaf tea, anyone?) and at the end of your search you will have a big mug of hot tea to indulge in - and hopefully many along the way.

2. Get experimental in the kitchen

Where there's drink, there is food. So grab your cup of tea and head to the kitchen to try a new recipe! Whether you love to bake or cook, have a look through the cook books that are gathering dust on their shelves or search Pinterest for inspiration. Personally, I find that this is the time of year I like to get back into making stews (sadly, I am not a good baker so I leave the oven to Mark). This year I have discovered warm salads in a bid to have a healthier diet. You can be sure I will be trying out new recipes, improvising my own warm salads, and relishing making our favourite stews. What would you like to try?

3. Build a fort

Metaphorically speaking or, if you like, quite literally! Get cosy under a chunky throw or one of your knitted blankets and just enjoy the warmth. If you have a fireplace, I envy you. Light that fire and enjoy it with a good book, your partner or with a cup of hot chocolate (don't feel guilty about adding a good dollop of whipped cream for good measure, too).

4. Dress for the occasion

And by that I mean get into your onesie and those knitted socks. Recently, I have been coming home from work and getting straight into my Christmas onesie. It's perfect! This is also a good opportunity to get your winter wardrobe ready and dig out those chunky knits that we will need soon enough.

5. Light some candles

Nothing creates instant cosiness quite like candles in the evening. Whether you like them scented or plain, they cast such a wonderful light that we can't help put slow down, relax and enjoy. I like having holders for my tea lights - not only do they add colours and patterns to the room, but they also seem safer.

6. Enjoy the bubbles

With or without candles, a long hot bath is always welcome after a chilly day. This is the time to finally use that special bath bomb and bubble bar you've been waiting to use or to try a new luxurious bath oil. The warm water and the scent will relax your muscles and get you ready for good night's sleep. I'm looking forward to using the bath bombs I bought on holiday in Torquay the day Mark proposed to me. That makes them extra special.

7. Do what knitters do

Of course we'll be knitting, no question about it! But this time of year is perfect for large projects with heavier yarns. How about using that stashed DK or chunky yarn you've been neglecting for a while? Wouldn't they make the perfect wrap or blanket for winter? Maybe you have enough yarn for a jumper, too. This is your chance to cast on a project with squishy, woolly yarn that will get you through the winter. And remember: The bigger the project, the warmer your lap will be as you knit. Bonus!

8. Fill your home with seasonal decorations

I always wish I had more space to do this. There are so many thing you can do to make your home look lovely with seasonal decorations. Right now the shops are filled with pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, all manner of candles and decorative cushions, rustic decor and more. I really like the little munchkin pumpkins and found a great way to use them two years ago. I simple hollow them out enough to slot a tea light in the middle and, voila! There's the perfect autumnal candle holder.  Give it a try. It's far easier than hollowing out a whole pumpkin and they last quite some time, too.

9. Become a player

Invite friends over for a day of board games and time will fly by while you're having fun. Classic games such as Monopoly, Ludo or Trivial Pursuit are always engaging, but there is a whole host of fun games out there and I am sure you and your friends own some of them. So why not set a date and enjoy a bit of friendly competition?

10. Escape for the Weekend

If all else fails and you can't stand the dreary days and long nights anymore, a trip to somewhere new may be just the thing you need. If you don't want to stray too far and a warm destination isn't on the cards, sometimes a weekend in a part of the country you've always wanted to explore is a great idea. Decide on what you want from your stay: Do you prefer an active, outdoorsy break or would you like to simply relax somewhere cosy and perhaps have a spa break? There's lots to choose from and once you have narrowed down your choices, go ahead and book that trip. It will be the perfect break from everyday life and you will return with more energy and in higher spirits, ready to kick winter in the butt.

Let's do it! Let's make this autumn and winter the best we have had in a long while. You'll find me in the kitchen in my onesie, so grab a tea and meet me there.

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